Some people love the winter time. I, on the other hand, loath it... I live in New York state up in the mountains where we get a lot of snow, and for a much longer period then most. I live in a valley, you know where both sides of my house are surrounded by hills and mountains. Our nearest neighbor is a good distance away. We get a lot of snow down in the valley. I loath winter not for the holiday, oh no I love that. I hate it for the seclusion it brings. I, being a nature person, can not stand being cooped up inside my warm house for to long. My body gathers excess energy and when it has no place to go I become depressed and hyper, as many people know them as my ‘moments‘. So what do I do? I go on a long, cold, secluded, winter journey. I place on my boots shakily and place on a thin coat, used in autumn, not winter. I place my shaky hands inside its pockets and head out.
As I leave the warmth and comfort of my house I feel no real difference in temperature, as my excess energy is still holding my body warm. I look up with dark eyes and survey the landscape that I call home. My grandfather is inside in the garage on a hill top by my house. He doesn't usually pay attention to me, or the outside world for that matter. I look to the sky once more and watch as silhouettes of black clouds suffocate the moon that I so love to watch on clear winter nights. But tonight, it is dark, and desolate. The first leg of my journey comes as I go up to the pond where me and my cousin fish and boat, playing pretend that I still do in my 16 year old body and his 13. I am still a child at heart, but sometimes I become an animal. I break into the stronghold of the part of the snow that has not been plowed, from our driveway. I break the thin crust of the newly fallen snow, untouched by man. As I go up the side of the pond I feel my excess energy reaching its breaking point as my boots become filled with the frozen rain. My eyes begin to water and my mind becomes a daze of what's in front of me. I watch my breath heat the air through my exposed teeth as I begin to admit small growls in the night. I walk pass the forest of shadow trees near the pound and admit more growls as if to warn weary animals that I am not to be tampered with. I slide down the slick winter slope to the direct edge of the pond and look down. I see nothing. The snowy white film has covered my safe haven and I must move on.
I feel my energy perspire around me, but it is far from enough. As thoughts rampage through my head of darkness and shadows that seam to eclipse every living being in its wake. I circle the pond as I come to the bridge that my grandfather had made just this summer. I knew it would be hard to cross as it was like an old oriental bridge that flowed upwards in a small hump on the landscape. Its rails and wooden barracks covered with snow and Ice. As I start to walk up normally my first attempt fails and I slid back to the ground. I try once more but to no luck do I cross. Finally I decide I must run and have no fear of falling face first in the snow. I run upwards on top of it and stand there, almost proud. But that is not to be. My mind blanketed with darkness, I survey my land once more. Getting the full view of my house, yard, and the many barns my grandfather just HAD to build for no apparent reason. I watch my breath float along side me. Flowing with the motion of my head as it turns softly with the wind at my back.
I slickly side down the other side of the bridge and wonder onto the hilltop to its side. By this time I knew I had to go the full length of my journey to get this energy out of me, and to brighten this darkness inside of me. I walk monotonely down the hill and across the driveway into the vast front yard of my property. I feel no remorse as I break through the untouched crust of snow on the other side. Walking with now fear, away from the soft glow of my house and straight into darkness itself.
This part is a long one, both for the length of it and the toll it takes on my mind. I feel a bit of the cold get to me as I walk the journey to the other side. The snow is much higher here, and fills my boots making the small rim of my ankle cold but still not frost bitten. I come to the creak where me and my cousin always played every summer. We loved to catch crayfish and frogs, we even build a dam together so that we could go swimming on those hot summer days. I walk up the ancient stone wall that seams to separate me from my humanity. I listen as the water still flows from below the hard crust of ice that has settles on top of it. Knowing I can not go further I turn and stand there, I just stand there.
I was at the breaking point. I took my warm hands out of my coat pockets and threw them into the air as if I wanted a great gust of wind to blow by and freeze them right off. But that never came. So instead, in all my build up frustration, I thrust both my bare palms into the snow before me. I wanted to scream as I did so but for fear of scaring those around me I suppressed it. My screams can be quite loud, and can carry for quite a distance, but mostly my sore lungs prevented me. I took both my hands out after a couple of second and stared at them. Their membranes covered with a thin crust of snow. I slap both my cheeks with those frozen digits and stand straight up swiftly. I began to run, I ran as if I was trying to avoid something. My ice incrusted hands flailing about at my side as I round the yard and creep up the steep side of a hill. The snow I had slapped on my face now melted and flowing down my neck. I can feel that beneath the snow the earth is layered by a thin blanket of ice, as it usually is in this intense below zero weather. I continue running, and would of still went on if it were not from my left leg giving way to the frozen earth below it. I twisted my ankle and fell harshly into the snow.
I lay there, not making a sound. My hands strewn a head of me and my face half buried. I feel the frost bite taking its toll. But still I have not yet released this burden within me. I stand up slowly, trying to regain my composure. I begin to stand wobbly, my ankle still beaming excessively. I am no longer breathing through my teeth. This time it is full blown from my mouth. Large streams of CO2 flow beside me as I make a right turn into the woods where I am truly no longer afraid of the darkness. During this state of being the darkness that the night blankets in the woods around my house is nothing to me, I have no fear of the night. I feel nothing. Not fear, not warmth, not even existence. I walk up another hill surrounding myself full fold with the black bare trees at my side. There forms looking like something in a nightmare. Taking indescribable shapes, I can almost hear them laughing at me. Or, is that myself? I follow my beaten path that I had made during the summer, as I turn a corner my uneven breaths becomes noisiest, as my exhalation sounds like deep menacing growls from a rabid dog. My mouth wide I can feel my throat become numb. My teeth almost like ice sickles, drool protruding down my blossomed lips. I can no longer see my breath through the darkness ahead of me. Now I feel solitude... A feeling I long for, and love.
I reach the last leg of my journey slowly as I turn out of the woods. my ankle no longer hurting, Numb from the snow that had seeped into my boot. The film on my eyes is cold, each time I blink I feel as if I have wiped away my iced tears, as it seams to roll down my cheeks in silence. I look up and see the lights from my house and my grandfather's garage. As I walk past the last patch of trees I am not as cold as you might think. For I have rid myself of all of my excess energy and am now content.
I hear my grandfather call out my name as if frantic. He must of realized I was gone. I call to him. Silence. I walk up to one of the barns where I heard his voice echo from. He calls me once more and I yell with my sore throat to him, saying that I'm on the other side. He walks over and smiles that smile he always gives me. I tell him what I did and he looks at me bewildered. He realizes that I can not stay cooped up inside the house for to long and I needed to 'blow off some steam.'
I lightly step off of the unplowed snow and onto the slick driveway towards my house. I open the door and am greeted with a welcoming brush of warmth as my dog, Clare, comes to my side. She usually misses me when I go out and not take her with me. I pat her head and head into the kitchen where I discard my coat and flip off my boots like a little kid. I walk through the living room in my socks, the bottom of my pants dripping wet with melted snow, having small chunks flop off the fabric from my stride. I walk swiftly past the Christmas three that I alone had decorated two days before, and admire its lit beauty. I walk through the dining room and into the hall where I quickly climb the stairway up to my room. I notice my cat, Fuzzy, has been waiting for me as well, for he lay calmly at the top of them. He is a very smart cat and sensitive to my emotions. I’m guessing he must of known what I was going through. I bend down and kiss him sweetly on the head and walk pass him into my room to the side. Once there I pull out the chair to my computer and open up a blank document. Where I now write about my winter journey. The first of many during these cold, secluded, months of winter.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Kitty Hamagochy.
Published on e-Stories.org on 22.09.2006.